Gamma knife radiosurgery for clinically persistent acromegaly

Xiaomin Liu, Hideyuki Kano, Douglas Kondziolka, Kyung Jae Park, Aditya Iyer, Ajay Niranjan, John C. Flickinger, L. Dade Lunsford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Gamma knife radiosurgery (GKRS) is an important additional strategy for unresected clinically active pituitary adenomas. Radiosurgery for acromegaly aims to achieve tumor growth control and endocrine remission, potentially obviating the need for lifetime medication suppression therapy. Forty patients with clinically active acromegaly underwent GKRS between 1988 and 2009. Thirty-four patients had undergone prior surgical resection. The median follow-up interval was 72 months (range 24-145). Endocrine remission was defined as growth hormones (GH) level <2.5 ng/ml and a normal insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) level (age and sex adjusted) off growth hormone inhibiting drugs for at least 3 months. Endocrine control was defined as normal GH and IGF-1 levels on suppression medication. Endocrine remission was achieved in 19 (47.5 %) patients and endocrine control in four additional (10.0 %) patients. Patients with lower IGF-1 level and with tumors that were less invasive of the cavernous sinus before GKRS were associated with better GH remission rates. Imaging-defined local tumor control was achieved in 39 (97.5 %) patients (27 had tumor regression). One patient with delayed tumor progression underwent a second GKRS procedure. Three other patients had repeat GKRS because of persistently elevated and clinically symptomatic GH and IGF-1 levels. Sixteen (40.0 %) patients eventually developed a new pituitary axis deficiency at a median onset of 36 months after radiosurgery. No patient developed new visual dysfunction. Gamma knife radiosurgery, which is most often applied in clinically symptomatic acromegaly persistent after initial microsurgery, was most effective when the tumor was less invasive of the cavernous sinus and when patients had lower IGF-1 levels before GKRS. Almost one half of the patients no longer required long term medication suppression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-79
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuro-Oncology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Aug
Externally publishedYes


  • Acromegaly
  • Gamma knife
  • Growth hormone
  • Insulin-like growth factor 1
  • Pituitary adenoma
  • Radiosurgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cancer Research


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